- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The appointment books of two disgraced state lawmakers appear to corroborate allegations that they met with undercover FBI agents at steakhouses and a lobbyist’s office, according to documents released Tuesday by the California Legislature.

Providing a rare glimpse at politicians’ lives outside the Capitol, the state Senate released about 300 pages from the calendars of former Democratic Sens. Ron Calderon and Leland Yee, who have been indicted on separate federal bribery and corruption charges.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Earlier this month, a Sacramento County judge found in the first ruling of its kind in California that the public’s interest outweighed the Senate’s interest in keeping the records private after the Bay Area News Group and the Los Angeles News Group sued to get the lawmakers’ calendar records.

The Legislature operates under its own open records law called the Legislative Open Records Act. Despite the law’s declaration that “legislative records are open to inspection at all times,” legislative leaders have for years maintained schedules of meetings and events are exempt from disclosure.

In calendars released for specific dates from 2011 to 2014, Calderon’s appointments included meetings scheduled throughout 2012 with an undercover agent posing as a film executive named Rocky Patel at Los Angeles-area steakhouses.

On July 19, 2012, Calderon listed an entry to tour Patel’s United Pacific Studios in downtown Los Angeles. The studio, which had been operating since at least 2007, was known to offer space for the making of low-budget independent movies.

A subsequent meeting on Oct. 24, 2012, at a restaurant at LA Live was listed to be attended by Sen. Kevin de Leon, who is now leader of the Senate.

Calderon, of Montebello, has been accused of accepting about $100,000 in exchange for promoting legislation to expand Hollywood tax credits and protect the interest of a hospital that benefited from a provision of the workers’ compensation law.

Federal officials accuse Calderon of directing an undercover agent to donate $25,000 to a nonprofit run by his brother, former lawmaker Tom Calderon, who also is facing charges.

The senator has also been accused of taking bribes for his son’s college tuition and asking Patel to hire his daughter at $3,000 a month.

Calderon’s attorney, Mark Geragos, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Yee, of San Francisco, is accused of accepting money and campaign donations in exchange for providing official favors and helping broker an arms deal.

Yee’s calendar lists two meetings with an undercover agent who used the name Mike King at a lobbyist’s office in Sacramento. Yee’s attorney, James Lassart, declined to comment Tuesday.

Also listed to attend was Yee’s political adviser Keith Jackson, who raised money for Yee’s failed 2011 San Francisco mayoral bid and campaign for California secretary of state in 2014.

Jackson has also been charged with arranging bribes for Yee. He has pleaded not guilty.

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